I've been a member here for a long time. I haven't been active lately, but when my kids were younger I learned a lot here that helped me plan amusement park trips to most of the parks in PA and OH as well as other surrounding states. Without you folks I don't think I would have ever discovered the treasure that is Knoebels.
We've gotten out of the habit of park visits and travel the last few years, as my kids became involved in sports and other activities that took up most of our leisure time. At most we've just had brief visits to CLP as we have friends in that area. However, the kids - I have 12 almost 13 yo twin boys - have recently expressed an interest in getting out to parks again and riding the "big coasters". They've mentioned Cedar Point, which is one park we never went to and were saving for "when they got older."
It's always been important to me, as a coaster lover, that the first adult coaster I ever rode was the Racing Whippet at West View Park. And that growing up the coasters I rode were the ones at Kennywood. I grew up learning the joys of coasters from riding the time honored classics. So before we all hop in the car and head to Sandusky, I'd like to take them some other places as a buildup.
I was thinking Kennywood, for Racer, Jack Rabbit and Thunderbolt in that order, then letting them go on the other ones themselves if they want. I can't go upside down or backwards myself so I've never been on the others there. We were already tentatively planing a Knoebels/Lakemont/DelGrossos trip as our vacation this year, so that would be Phoenix and Twister and the others there plus the wooden one (forget name) and Leap the Dips (they've already been on that) at Lakemont. I've also tossed around the idea of Blue Streak at CLP first, as a throwback to the "will I survive this" aspect of my first ride on Racing Whippet, but with the mess that place is I'm not sure I'm comfortable letting them on that or that they'd be willing even because of a couple of incidents we've had there the last few years on other rides there.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I figured if anyone would have any ideas and understand why I was worried about this it'd be this board. We live near Cleveland, would drive wherever, and wouldn't want more than a day's drive (10 hours).
I think you've got it, Sandi. I've initiated newbies into the wonderful world of coaster riding by taking them to Kennywood and having them ride Racer, Jack Rabbit, then Thunderbolt in that order. When we're done with the day I usually hear "That was great. Now, when are we going to Cedar Point?"
The park also includes Sky Rocket, for the guys, and since you don't like inversions, then Phantom's Revenge will be one you'll like to try. No more loops, like it's predecessor, but plenty of speed and amazing airtime.
Flats are fun at Kennywood, too, and it's not a bad drive from Cleveland. Stay late, have a ball, and I'm sure your boys will thank you.
My thoughts right now are:
May-early/mid June - Kennywood. I just have the logistical trick of scheduling this around school and other commitments to get a solid day in the park with a day to recover afterwards. We've been there many times, but not in several years (last time was right before Gold Rush closed) so we have lots of old favorites to visit plus this coaster adventure and all the stuff they've added. It's going to be weird to walk into the place and not see the Turnpike.
End-June/July - Knoebels/Lakemont/DelGrossos along with non coaster adventures to all the Altoona train stuff and State College.
August - Cedar Point day trip, ideally weekday to minimize line waits, am considering springing for one of the VIP things but haven't begun to research this part yet.
If their enthusiasm continues then that gives us another reason for a Smokies spring break next year and a visit to Dollywood, followed by Hershey for summer vacation.
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